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Shivat Hamanim Salad

Shivat Hamanim is the 7 species of Tu B'Shevat. 

First the seven species....
Wheat (chitah in Hebrew)
Barley (se'orah in Hebrew)
Grapes (gefen in Hebrew) 
Figs (te'enah in Hebrew)
Pomegranates (rimon in Hebrew)
Olives (zayit in Hebrew)
Dates (tamar or d'vash in Hebrew)

And now...the salad: 
3 cups cooked couscous (I use one box of Osem Israeli Pearl Couscous)
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped or 4 fresh figs, quartered
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 
1/4 cup wheat and barley nuggets cereal (like: Grape-Nuts), optional
Parsley or Cilantro finely chopped

Salad Dressing: 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons balsamic
1 tablespoon coarse grain Dijon mustard (you could use smooth, just don't use French's Yellow Mustard!)
1 shallot clove, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

Combine barley, figs, dates, grapes and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl. 

To make the salad dressing, in a separate bowl, place shallots, garlic, oil, honey, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Pour dressing over barley salad and toss to coat well. Just before serving add cereal and toss to evenly distribute. Garnish with finely chopped parsley.

A few notes:
1. I use a whole box of the Orem couscous which makes about 4 cups.  The reason is that it makes it really easy to remember the recipe: 1 box of Orem and 1/2cup of the rest of ingredients. Mix well. They have this brand of couscous at Wegman's, Dulles, in the Kosher aisle. It's $2.29/box currently.
2 You could reduce the ingredients down from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup and be fine. Just make sure not to have more than 3 cups of couscous or proportions of fruit to couscous will be off and flavors won't balance as well. 
3. I add a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh oregano or thyme to the salad. You can use 1 teaspoon of dried herbs instead. Just be stingy with herbs, they add flavor and complexity to the salad but you don't necessarily want to taste the oregano or thyme. 
5. A note on the pomegranate seeds: I substituted with Craisins on Saturday. Some people have problems with nuts or seeds. I was trying to be sensitive.
6. Made after Shabbat, in the evening, this makes a tasty Sunday brunch dish. IMO. 
7. If you don't want to make the dressing, then use an olive oil and vinegar vinaigrette that you like. 

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Sun, September 20 2020 2 Tishrei 5781